Garden centre giant Dobbies is supporting the RHS’ National Gardening Week, from 26 April to 2 May, with the launch of new sustainable products and the start of its #sustainabledobbies campaign.
Dobbies says it is committed to educating about the importance of soil health and delivering environmentally-friendly practices and products, and sustainable solutions.
Dobbies supports the RHS’s aim to enrich lives through plants and make the UK a greener place. This year, the RHS is encouraging everyone to get their ‘dose of Vitamin G’ by taking a few minutes each day to connect with nature. Dobbies will share dedicated National Gardening Week content focused on #sustainabledobbies which will build and develop throughout 2021 both online and instore.
A key part of Dobbies’ sustainability pledge is to reduce the use of peat, plastics and pesticides in its product range. The team is on track with the commitment made in 2020 to be 90% peat free in 2021 and 100% peat free in 2022. The retailer has also worked with nursery suppliers to produce a roadmap for an annual reduction in peat use.
Dobbies is launching a number of new sustainable products in store and online. Landing in store this week are biochar products from Carbon Gold – Carbon Gold Biochar Fertiliser and Biochar Soil Improver. Carbon Gold’s biochar products are 100% peat and chemical-free, FSC Certified and Soil Association organic approved. Biochar is so high in carbon that adding it to soil permanently sequesters CO2 from the atmosphere.
In a garden centre first, Dobbies will launch compost bag recycling in store, in partnership with Evergreen, in the next month. This will initially launch in 10 stores, with further roll out planned in 2021. New pot recycling stations will also be installed, building on the success of the pot return scheme, as well as a commitment to increasing recyclable plant pots and single use plastics.
As part of #sustainabledobbies, there is additional focus on the safer range of pest control products, to reduce the impact on beneficial garden insects and wildlife. The retailer does not stock weedkillers that contain glyphosate or slug killers that contain metaldehyde, and rodenticides have been delisted.
Graeme Jenkins, CEO of Dobbies, said: “At Dobbies we pride ourselves on providing the best gardening products, services and advice, and it’s also our responsibility to care for our environment. Sustainable practices have been a core focus for some time and we are pleased to support National Gardening Week with #sustainabledobbies.
“It’s our duty to raise awareness and promote better sustainability practices among our suppliers, team members and customers, and we look forward to sharing news of new products and services over the course of 2021.
“As well as reducing our use of peat, plastics and pesticides and providing our customers with recycling opportunities, we are also proud supporters of Terra Carta from HRH The Prince of Wales’ Sustainable Market Initiative – helping make the UK a greener place.”
Mike Hartshorn, managing director of Carbon Gold, said: “After seeing a massive boom in retail sales last year, we’re absolutely thrilled to have our biochar products on shelves at Dobbies’ stores in time for spring 2021.
“Gardeners, home growers and allotmenteers have always wanted their plots of outdoor space to be healthy, vibrant and disease and pest free, but these days making sure they’re also environmentally friendly is rising up everyone’s lists of priorities. Our biochar products, which have always been the professionals’ best kept secret, are the perfect replacement for unsustainable peat-based products because they really work and they’re actually good for the environment. It is the gardening product of the future!”
For National Gardening Week, Dobbies has released a new podcast episode focused on sustainable gardening. Horticulture director, Marcus Eyles, joins host Louise Midgely to discuss Dobbies’ sustainable aims and new product launches, as well as practical advice on how gardeners can care for the environment at home.